Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Born Dancin'

Many of you will know that I was pretty much Born Dancin', but what many of you may not realise is that I have never felt dancing to really be a part of me. The name Born Dancin' is a lie. I came to dance late, awkwardly, often reluctantly and lacking in natural talent. Also, I was not born, but was instead hatched; this is of no import here.

But in my late teens I was witness to a fairly minor dance show showcasing the talents of a few Melbourne Uni students; thinking back, I have no idea why I was there, but I found it an incredibly energising experience. I'd often gone dancing at clubs and the like, and found it really enjoyable in a self-conscious way, but never really felt right because of that ever-present eye I projected out across the room, watching and judging me. And I guess I felt that a lot of other people were just as self-aware. My first experience of an actual contemporary dance show keyed me in on the kind of dance where a trained, able performer could simply move without those walls being put up, and I loved it.

Watching dancers at the peak of their game can be fantastic for this reason. There's still a certain level of self-consciousness in a lot of performers, but when that doesn't appear to be a factor you can find yourself enjoying something that's all too rare in today's daily experience, which seems to me to be a very mannered and image-aware one. Of course, in itself, unself-consciousness probably isn't enough to make a dance piece much chop. But it helps. And then again, no amount of talent is going to make the pleasure of watching a completely uninhibited grandpa or six year-old cousin jiving at Christmas time any more innocently pleasing than it already is.

There's lots I could say about Sydney Dance Company's The Director's Cut, but to be honest, it didn't really engage me the way I'd hoped. I had the same experience at the company's Underland a few years ago: I felt I should have been enjoying what I was watching more than I did (and that show was based on Nick Cave songs fer cryin' out loud - it should have been a surefire winner for even a non-NC fan like me). I won't go into my misgivings over the new show, however, since it was a) overall a good evening and I probably just wasn't in the right headspace and b) I'm not really in the blog-reviewing mode right now, having had quite an emotionally rough few weeks, to put it politely.

But it's for that very same reason that I'm going to begin a week of posting the kind of dancing that makes me smile. In a non-ironic, what-a-fool-you-are kind of way. No, in a you-get-down-and-shake-that-thing-any-way-you-need-to way. Because really, if we could all do a bit of this, I think the world would be a happier place (with less of the hatings and bang-bang-you're-dead stuff).

Take it away, Jean-Claude.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget to mention the highlight of Monday's World Cup final (and no, I'm not talking about Captain Zizou's now infamous head-butt): the Italian team's inspired Euro-disco dance antics following the game.


And while we're on the subject of the world cup, check out this series on the "Best hair of the World Cup":

Vieva said...

John, even though we shared a womb I didn't seen you come out dancing for obvious reasons... but... I did encourage you remember 'shuffle hop 1,2,3 shuffle hop 1,2,3 shuffle hop 1, shuffle hop 2, shuffle hope 1,2,3. Was that around the same time I starting teaching you hiragana and you learnt it in a weekend??? ( I took a year)

Wow, maybe this decade we shall have another period of sharing knowledge.

Wanna be in my music video dancing early August? Anyone? It's going to be good. -

If you like this contact me :)